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Global Dispute Arbitration A Growing Field For U.S. Attorneys

Thursday, August, 29, 2013

Although policy makers and global investors are wringing their hands over the increasing number of broken contracts, debt issues, and business deals gone south, lawyers stepping in to handle the arbitration on these cases are seeing a major spike in business.  Particularly when the disputes are international, there are not as many lawyers versed in or comfortable with taking on the challenges of global arbitration.  For those willing to invest the time and take these cases on, however, it’s good for business and for expanding the law practice into an exciting field of dispute resolution.


According to the New York Times, at least a dozen major law firms are continuing to thrive in otherwise difficult economic times (from corporate spending reductions and arguments over billable hours) as a result of their commitment to international arbitration.  At this time, there are approximately 120 actions worth around $1 billion apiece pending in various tribunals of international arbitration.


The root of many of these cases comes from commercial interests and companies bringing suit against other entities they control or foreign governments themselves.  These cases invoke investment protections related to bilateral or international treaties, and for those firms making experts of their lawyers with regard to international arbitration, the opportunities are ripe for the picking.


The countries named most often in the legal disputes? Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, and the Czech Republic all frequently appear in the international arbitration tribunals.  Last year alone, about 518 treaty claims were pending against 95 countries, according to the United Nations.  Firms have been seen making it big in these cases charging by both the hour and by charging a percentage of the final arbitration award.  For those firms seeking to gain the benefits of a new part of their practice, there has never been a better time to consider getting involved with international arbitration.